Sex ed protest
Despite the governor’s warning to avoid crowds in the wake of the coronavirus, hundreds of concerned parents and residents converged on the Capitol Wednesday in Olympia to protest Saturday’s passage of law to mandate comprehensive sex education from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The Informed Parents of Washington organized the protest in an effort to urge Gov. Jay Inslee to veto Senate Bill 5395, which was passed by the Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House and now awaits his signature.
Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, said he had issues with the “pornographic” nature of the curriculum, which he said students will be subjected to as early as kindergarten.
“Why do we want to take their innocence?” Dent asked the crowd.
The bill includes provisions to allow districts to adopt their own sexual education curriculum, but Dent said developing a curriculum can be costly.
Some parents, like Karen Larsen from Auburn, said they feel like this legislation is an overreach of the state government. Larsen said that, while she does not agree with the content of the curriculum, her biggest issue is that the policy usurps local control over education and curricula.
Representatives such as Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, and Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, urged voters to remember their frustrations with the Democratically controlled Legislature come election time in November.
No sales tax
Women in Washington state will soon be relieved of paying sales tax on products that are fundamental to their feminine health, thanks to action by lawmakers this week.
Senate bill 5147 will exempt feminine hygiene products, including tampons and menstrual cups, from sales tax in the state.
The bill was passed by the Senate 49-0 and the House 95-2. If the governor signs it, it would take effect July 1.
– Information for Legislative briefly is provided by WNPA interns in Olympia.